Far Away, Far Away . . .


Far away, far away, men making wars.
Other folk's blood spilt on other folk's floors.

Only this morning I wounded my finger:
a thorn on my rosebush pierced like a stinger.

Sucking that finger, I thought of the war.
Sad is the earth! And those people, so poor!

I'm of no help, being here and not there,
nor can I reach them, by sea or by air.

And what if I could – what good could I do?
My Arabic's terrible! My English is, too!

What, should I stroll through the fields of the dead
leaving sheaves of my verses under each head?

No. Enough of this wretched irony-fest.
Let's put on a coat. The sun's low in the west.


   Italian; trans. Geoffrey Brock


Franco Fortini, Italian, trans. Geoffrey Brock, Poetry Magazine, December, 2007, The Poetry Foundation.